tv Countering Violent Extremism CSPAN January 8, 2018 12:01pm-1:28pm EST
southern california annenberg center for communication leadership and policy. i'm also president of the public diplomacy council. those are two of the partners in these events. the third partner is the public policy alumni association. i'm pleased to have the president of that organization here to also welcome you. >> it's my pleasure to welcome all of you. if i could take a moment to just highlight three events that many f you will be interested in. the office of the historian of the department of state is putting out the volume of the foreign relations of the united states, the documents for public diplomacy from 1961 to 1963. which is the kennedy period when back to.s date they are going to be releasing it, $20 at the door. you do have to sign up in advance. i think it will be a very interesting exploration of the
histry of public diplomacy. secondly, one of the things pdaa does is provides awards for the diplomacy t public work that department of state, public dimcy officers are doing. we give the awards in may and we're beginning to request dipl work nominations through the state department over the next month or so. i would ask any of you with contacts right now in the field to encourage them to nominate. there are people doing good work for that award. if any of you who are members or would like to consider being members of p.d.a. would like to contribute to the award fund, you are more than welcome. thirdly, on february 12 at noon we will have our lunch program over at decor house. called democracy in human rights and dimcy -- diplomacy. we look forward to many of you
coming. you will get information in our newsletter if you are members which will arrive on january 22, also digitally. thanks very much. >> thanks, cynthia. reef a fourth organization which has been essential these six years of these programs. that is the american foreign service association which has graciously hosted these events for six years. but to today's program. cities and combating violent extremism. our speaker is mike did you havin for six years. -s to -- duffin, his full bio is in your package. he's been a school teacher. he has contributed to articles to the "chicago tribune," "chicago sun-times," and other publications. and he is someone who holds three advanced degrees. he has one from johns hopkins in international relations. e has one from northwestern in
journalism. and one from the university of southern california in public diplomacy. mike duffin, the floor is yours. [applause] michael: there is a price to pay with that education. i want to thank adam and the public diplomacy council for inviting me to speak here today and thank you for showing up. i know the weather has warmed up. can you hear me now? no. >> it helps if the mike is turned on. michael: can you hear me now? >> yes. michael: thank you so much for coming. i know the weather warmed up a little bit, but obviously it's still pretty cold. i would like to thank adam and the public diplomacy council for inveeting me here today to speak. thank you for being here. we have a diverse group of people in the audience.
i'll try to keep the jargon and acronyms to a minimum. if there is anything that needs clarification, please let me know. obviously we'll have a "q&a" session at the end. if for some reason you don't have a chance to ask me a question, look me up on twitter, i'm happy to respond there as well. let me first begin by talking about the last couple of years in terms of countering violent extremism. we have seen a disturbing uptick in the number of mass casualty incidents in cities. many have been perpetrated by isis and its supporters. prior to november, 2015, isis was urging supporters to come to the so-called caliphate in syria and iraq. tens of thousands of men, women, and children answered that call. but with paris and other attacks, they were now telling their supporters to commit acts of violence in their own communities using whatever means necessary. the attacks listed here are
meant to show the geographic diversity of isis' influence. some attackers were directly instructed by isis. while others were merely inspired by them. some used explosives. some used firearms. some used knives. and others used vehicles to kill and injury -- injure dozens of people. at the state department we're both proactive and reactive in our approach to defeating isis. we train law enforcement in how to detect and interdict terrorist plots. this is what we refer to as c.t. we often say we cannot arrest our way out of the problem. which is why countering violent extremism is so important. c.b.e. is an umbrella term for a range of activities prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation. you'll hear some people use building resillins against violent extremism. some people say building social cohesion. e focus here is the actual
activities that are directed towards countering isis and other groups. there are four basic principles of c.v.e. efforts internationally. first, we need to identify the source of the problem and make sure our programs are appropriately designed to achieve our goals. second, we need to encourage the various branches of government to work together. the ministries of health and education, for example, are importing critical partners in this effort. we also need to encourage governments to partner with civil society, which requires a considerable amount of trust. third, we need the stakeholders to share practices, good practices with each other. we say good not best practices because certainly no one has found a way to absolutely counter, prevent violent extreme i. -- extremism. unique,ery community is
there is a lot someone in lebanon can learn from someone in montreal and vice versa. these good practices institutionalized. when the educator or community leader takes a different position when they move on, we need someone who can take their place and pick up where they left off. lastly, we need to bring more stakeholders into the fold. the at the most granular level, c.v.e. is about engaging at--risk individuals and ensuring that they build up enough resilience to reject violent extremism. beyond law enforcement we need parents, ed tators, coaches, counselors, and business owners to get involved. we may not consider an internship a c.v.e. program, but if it's engaging, if it's training an at-risk individual, later on they will be more likely to resist the recruitment pitch of a violent extremist organization. one of the ways we have tried to promote a whole of government and whole of society approach is through the strong cities
network. created in september, 2015, the network started with 25 members and now has 125. it's a first global network for cities focused on countering violent extremism. not all members face a threat from isis. some face threats from the far right. and some face threats from the far left. there are currently 10 u.s. members of the strong cities network. members connect online and in person through workshops, annual global meeting, and exchanges. the united states and several other governments support s.c.n. and is run through the london based institute for strategic dialogue. the networks' policies are determined by the 26-member steering committee. in addition to our direct support of s.c.n., my office works closely with the state department's international business leadership program to develop exchanges that support participation in the network. in march, 2016, the inaugural
s.c.n. brought one city official and one civil society representative from 10 s.c.n. forers to the united states a three weeks. such exchanges help expose exchange visitors to good practices in the u.s., and they also help spread for a three weeks. such awareness about s.c.n. among u.s. cities. because s.c.n. has multiple events around the world each year, there are numerous opportunities for members of the multicountry exchanges to interact. it's essentially built in alumni network. in fact, at least five members of the original s.c.n. have been to both annual meetings. they keep in touch on facebook and collaborated with each other on their work. n may, 2016, turkey hosted the inaugural s.c.n. noble meeting. about thund people from 40 contrition attended. which highlighted the diversity. we had chattanooga mayor speaking there. talk about a july, 2015 attack
in chattanooga that killed five military members at a recruiting station in chattanooga. we had a mayor from nigeria talk about his experience being abducted by boko haram. we had a former white supremacist talk about his exit from the skinhead movement. we also had a survivor of the attack in norway talk about that or deal -- ordeal. a year later, denmark hosted the second annual global meeting. this time about 500 people from 50 countries attended. we had anaheim mayor, los angeles deputy mayor, and delegations from las vegas, louisville, and san diego in attendance. to the right, right over here, hans. the mayor
it's a city north of bruss sell in belgium. -- bruss sells in belgium. -- brussels in belgium. a partnership between the state department and the department of homeland security office of civil rights and civil liberties is the city pair program. this two-way exchange program has connected about 20 cities around the world with u.s. counterparts. our embassy's identified the international cities first. then we work with d.h.s. to identify -- excuse me, we work with d.h.s. to identify the appropriate u.s. partner city. we try to identify cities with complementary skill sets and those that express an interest in maintaining connections beyond the exchange. these cities aren't necessarily part of the strong cities network, although some of them are. we certainly those who are not, we encourage them to join. one point i want to mention is when people think of cities to
partner with international cities, the first one may be like los angeles or minneapolis. the problem is when you have repeated delegations going to he same city, that's taxing on their schedules and -- we want connections that -- people who have the time, capacity to engage their international counterparts. today we exchange business cards, we want connections where when we introduce them to their u.s. counterparts, they have the ability and interest in following up and forming partnerships. as you know require a lot of time and effort. each delegation has five to nine people. and typically include someone from the mayor's office, a law enforcement official, religious leader, and representatives from civil society. one delegation will spend about a week in the other's city, meeting with a range of stake horlsde. a few months later the two cities will trade roles. it's hard to quantify the success of the c.v.e. program,
but in one instance we we can. in 2014, we partner lavorta with columbus, ohio. had it had the highest number of people farthering to syria and iraq. after updating their community engagement strategy following the exchange, the departures stopped. we recognize that there are multiple factors involved, but we have heard from several cities how these exchanges have helped. they eventually joined s.c.n. and the mayor speaks around the world about the effort. this is a small municipality, we were able to bring the mayor and police chief, they were able to participate in this exchange. obviously if earlier this year we did an exchange between london -- last year, we did an exchange between london and los angeles, it was not veezible to ask the mayors to -- feasible to ask the mayors to participate.
we were able to get the deputy mayor of los angeles, the deputy police chief to participate. it's to say there is a value in engaging smaller cities. these exchanges may have more of an impact. that's not to say they don't have an impact with larger cities. in december, 2016, we partnered in march day with orlando and tampa. we actually had this exchange planned well before the pulse nightclub attack. there was nothing that we knew about a threat there. it just so happened they were very good at community engagement. that was something we wanted to highlight with the delegation from marsais. we arranged meetings with the mayors from orlando and tampa which complemented meetings with stakeholders on the ground. such nangements allow us to put crrnings v.e. on the radar of u.s. mayors. of u.s. on rate dar
mayors. -- radar of u.s. mayors. i have met with the he mayor on several occasions. we had an ivlp come through from canada and we had a meeting scheduled with the mayor's office. not necessarily with the mayor. he decided when he saw that this group was in, he decided to meet with them. he spoke to them for about an hour or so. for a mayor of a u.s. major city that's extraordinary that commitment to this issue. this past december we brought a delegation from manchester to boston. both cities have experienced major terrorist attacks. manchester wanted to learn about boston's efforts to promote resilience following the boston marathon bombing. some of the delegates never worked together. so spending a week in boston helped them build critical relationships. they also developed some ideas for new programming based on ston's efforts to engage
at-risk youth. i was there. we visited a gymnasium that trains young people who have recently been incarcerated, trained them to become personal trainers. there is a mentoring component to that. that was one example where the delegation from manchester, they were really excited about the program. not to say they are going to necessarily develop a program i was there. we visited like that, but they as we speak, a delegation from boston is traveling to manchester for the second half of that exchange. in april we brought representatives from 10 s.c.n. members in kosovo and macedonia to the u.s. these two countries have had some of the highest per capita number of people depart for syria and iraq. the western balkans also accounts for about 1/3 of s.c.n. membership. this exchange exposed them to
good practices in the u.s. and helped them connect to each other. we chose to send them to tennessee and georgia to learn about interchange in the civil rights movement. met with the mayors of nashville and chattanooga and visited atlanta. the one thing i would like to point out, cities in kosovo and macedonia are not necessarily comparable to the -- their large cities are not comparable to ours. sense to idn't make send a group from there to new york or los angeles. that's not to say atlanta is a small city, but in the case of chattanooga, 130,000 people, the population, they did have the down, meet to sit sense with the mayor, police chief, everybody who is involved in the attack from two years ago. that was extraordinary for this group and quite inspiring for them. some of the members of the delegation, one has become a
member of parliament. one is the national c.v.e. coordinator for kosovo now. one is the minister of culture, youth, and sports. so we have already had some nice terms of deliverables from that exchange. i'd like to talk about the next ups. terms of a few things we're planning in the future. u.s. conference of nayors, on january 24, the -- mayors, on we're january, this the state department is hosting a workshop for domestic and international mayors from canada, germany, ireland, and the u.k. we expect about 40 to 50 mayors. this has been part of an ongoing relationship we have had with u.s. conference of mayors. i have attended -- they meet twice a year. it's the one form for all u.s. mayors to get together, talk issues and network. on
when i have attended, i'm looking for cities that would be interested in hosting ivlp delegations. the ones we work with, the bureau of educational and curl affairs on. -- and cultural affairs on. identity cities that would be good for the program. and hopefully, we started doing this a little bit. sending u.s. mayors overseas. a lot of u.s. cities, they are focused on international trade, foreign and direct investments, but listening to mayors talk about their policy priorities it helps to identify opportunities for them to -- if they have a program that they are trying to champion. they are very open to sharing that internationally. i'll give you one example. anaheim mayor i have been speaking to him for the last two years at the u.s. conference of
mayors meeting in indianapolis in june, 2016. i learned about his city of kindness initiative. i didn't realize when i started talking to him he's really good friends with the dalai lama. this is an initiative that has received support from lady gaga and the dalai lama. that's just to say when i asked him to travel to denmark for the strong cities global meeting, part of my pitch to him was, hey, this initiative, a lot of other cities in other countries would really be interested in it. the mayor of nashville, when we brought that delegation there, the mayor has this initiative called the -- she started called the office of new americans. here they help integrate newly arrived immigrants into society. so that was something that -- that was the hook -- that was what helped us set up that meeting. so it's just to say that listening to mayors and their
priorities is critical for these artnerships. next, next month we're having the mayors of louisville and anaheim and possibly one other mayor travel to india to engage with indian counterparts on o the strong cities network. right now we only have one member in india, so we hope to increase membership and to get cities there more active on -- i would say more of the broader c.v.e., what we would call c.v.e. relevant. ey are going to visit mumbai new delhi. the mayor was so impressed with what he saw at the strong cities global meeting in may that he wants to launch a year-long ampaign, the strong cities network messaging campaign on kindness. one thing i'll note about this, ot all cities -- violent
extremism isn't an immediate major concern for all cities. granted, there are attacks in places where it's surprising, like that town that really small town in texas a couple months ago. but that being said, mayors are not going to allocate huge amounts of resources just because it's the topic of the day or o whatever. -- or whatever. it's just to say that by investing or getting mayors to invest in social cohesion, kind neighbor your initiative, that's something some cities can buy into. it's not going to upset advocacy groups. that's just to say that this delegation, it's really mportant for us because it's high level mayors
to -- priority country for us. please follow twitter and i'll update you guys on the progress of that. next i'd like to talk to you about the south by southwest festival. this is also partnership that developed from us engaging the u.s. conference of mayors. we have two panels, high level to local leadership in the wake of terror. hat will feature the mayors ofs chattanooga, man cherser, and orlando -- manchester, and orlando. and we'll feature some of our domestic and civil society partners. this is just to say that i have mentioned chattanooga a couple times. he's also traveled to the netherlands to engage in the speaker program for us. we certainly when, we find mayors or cities willing to engage, we engage them as much as we can. we don't want to overuse those connections.
and i think sometimes mayors, they get hammered in the press by their opponents. oh, they are traveling on an international junket. i could just tell you with the global meeting in denmark, the mayors of anaheim and chattanooga stayed in a hotel that wasn't up to par with i would say anyone in this room, let alone the mayors of major u.s. cities. it took them over 24 hours travel time to get there. so it's just to say that if we ask them once, we have to really think about asking them twice. and we have to make sure that that experience is good for them so that they'll recommend these programs to other mayors. because we really do want to send u.s. mayors out there to develop connections between cities. our role, the state department role, is to facilitate that connection. once that connection is established, we can back away and certainly we don't want to play a large role in this.
we want to coordinate. this concludes the formal component of my presentation. again, i'd like to thank the public diplomacy council for the opportunity to speak with you. i'm happy to answer any and all of your questions. thank you so much. [applause] >> thank you, mike. you have the first question. >> thank you for your presentation. the trump administration has been almost virulently anti-muslim and also anti-immigration. i'm wondering what the impact of thatth tude is on getting cooperation from -- of that attitude is on getting cooperation from muslim communities and cities around the country. michael: it's hard for me to talk necessarily about --
>> does it come up in your discussion? michael: it's something that i would just say that the mayors that we talk with, necessaryically and internationally -- domestically and internationally, they are looking -- i think that they recognize our role, the state department's and it's just to say that it's just an issue that i think we talk on a more minute level about -- more of a working level about the issues. for some people it's not a concern. when people have concerns, we note them. and it's just to say that for us, our programs, they are focused on the tactic, ideology, and not connecting it necessarily to the muslims or
islam. so i would just say that for us i think that any conversation we have, regardless of what one person or another says, there are challenges. e try and work through them. >> thank you very much. very interesting presentation. i have to say i never knew anything about the strong cities network before. i'm just wondering how you -- your bureau and also this particular program, how it intersecretaries, if it does, with the global engagement center -- insects, if it does, with the global engagement center, which is focused on countering terrorism, specifically countering violent extremism. michael: thank you. we work closely with the global engagement center.
they have actually helped us with funding some of our activities. it's just something that we're all one happy family. the resources that we get don't necessarily cover -- they don't necessarily meet the demand for programming. try to speak plainly as i can. we don't have all the money in the counterterrorism bureau. believe it or not. so for certain activities we'll go to the under secretary for public diplomacy. to fund, for example, the mayoral delegation to india, that is something that they are funding. they are funding the bringing the mayors from canada, germany, ireland, and the u.k. so i think that, you know, we definitely do work with them.
we definitely do work with them. >> wanted to ask you, what is the extent your work with the strong cities network relates to the sister cities international network, other mayoral networks focuses on one that hiroshima and the anti-nuclear set of mayors that are very concerned. i think there are 250 of them. how do you interact with these already existing programs? michael: the strong cities network is not meant to compete existing network. so in many cases we look for ways to complement each other. obviously as i mentioned before the institute for strategy --
strategic dialogue, they are the implementers, they run the strong cities network. they are concerned about keeping the lights on in their organization. in terms of connectivity we definitely look for those opportunities. when we're trying to partner in international city with a u.s. city in terms of the city pair program, if there are already sister cities, that's a bonus. it's just to say that the network, i think it succeeds because it's not trying to take the place of any other network. and we encourage the institute for strategic dialogue to be friendly with any and all other networks out there. applicable to other global problems?
and if and if so, is state using your model to attack other global issues? i'm thinking particularly of the climate change issue. i have read a lot of -- many american cities and governors and mayors seem interested in that issue. i wonder if they are partnering at all with counterpart cities through state? if so, is there a possibility of fatigue in terms of foreign cities, especially, being asked to partner with state on problem x, y, or z, do you see that a problem? michael: i think that we didn't invent the two-way exchange, the twinning program. i honestly don't know who started such partnerships. it's just to say that the model an be used for multiple policy priorities. certainly the connections --
i'll just say this. when we're sending a mayor from the united states overseas, in most of the places where we're sending these mayors, they don't have direct connections with the u.s. it's a long travel time. what we try to sell them on is, you certainly are going to travel, if we're paying for t. are you going to discuss -- paying for it, you're going to discuss our priorities, but if it leads to further connections topics, ion of other by all means -- when we're inging the international mayors to the united states for conference of mayors winter meeting, they have an entire day on their schedule of networking with other mayors. i would just say that's a bonus. that's a good way -- that's a incentive for us to engage mayors.
i'll give you one example, with denmark, if you conference of m winter meeting, haven't worked on countering violent extremism, you probably have not heard of that city, which is a lovely city. i have been there twice. it's just to say that because of their great work engaging at-risk -- their at-risk population, they have created an international reputation. i think that opens the door for further conversation on other issues. >> i'm just wondering, when you're trying to identify people to talk to in foreign cities, foreign countries, or when you're going through the embassy, what office within the embassy do you work with? do you work with public affairs? do you work with the political section? yourre the people that are
liaisons with the people on the ground? michael: mostly because it's public diplomacy program -- will i note that me, i am -- i will note that me, i don't have -- i'm a foreign affairs officer, so -- initiatives like the strong cities network, like the city pair program as you are listening to me talk about them, it's obvious there is a nexus with public diplomacy. that's just to say our conversations are with both the public affairs office, public affairs section, and the political section. that's just to say when we talk about a whole of government and whole of society approach, we need a whole of washington and a whole of embassy approach. when it's a small embassy, that's easier to do because the people are typically, as you know, close to each other. in other cases, like -- you probably know like in bangladesh, the public affairs section and political section
are in completely different buildings over a mile apart. it's just to say that we try and coordinate with everybody. the one thing that i would like to do with future exchanges, secure some funding so that when the participants return home, every time there is an exchange people come back with ideas. to have a little bit of funding to provide them to -- seed funding for some of these initiatives. that's not to say that this is -- there's definitely room for improvement on these programs. >> my question dovetails on what you just said there. in terms of follow-up and what i call the drop in the bucket effect of exchanges where you have one or two participants from a country or city, how much effect they have on the rest of the population. you mentioned in some cases like through facebook they have kept
in touch. they have continued to collaborate on projects. do you have any sense as to what those projects or policies might be? how are they taking the information they have learned from these exchanges? how are they implementing that at home to have a wider effect? michael: in one case, in the case of france and belgium, with exchanges, when we have had people from both countries, when there is -- the distance isn't too great, they are actually traveling to the other person's city and helping them assess their to have a issues what the. i could tell you this, of the groups i mentioned that we engage, whether it's an educator or religious leader, or let's say a mental health professional , counselor, religious leaders aren't necessarily experts on counseling, and counselors aren't necessarily experts in religious doctrine. when we can put people who
aven't been in a room together on a one week to three week trip, not to say they necessarily become best friends, they definitely know each other better. it's just to say that we have -- people who have really c.v.e. is an issue where if a city has one c.v.e. coordinator, they are lucky. los angeles has a c.v.e. coordinator. that doesn't mean anaheim has a c.v.e. coordinator. or let's say seattle. so these individuals when they connect with people from other ities, then they are able to console each other, provide mentorship, or partnership. so i think that that's one of the values of the strong cities network. yeah, it's great when we can connect mayors, but it's the working level people who are working on these issues. there is no one else in the
building who knows what they are dealing with. knows how to -- we like to talk about metrics. how do we know what -- that was your question, how do we know what we're funding is actually working? i think it's important for them to connect. definitelso say that i don't want to take the credit for everything that i presented on. we work closely with d.h.s. we work with the global engagement center. we work with our embassies. critical that our embassies identify the right people. not to say that i have seen a bad exchange, but i have seen ome really good exchanges. it's because they were able to ecruit dynamic people. criticar just because someone is the highest ranking doesn't mean they are the best fit for that exchange. i think the embassy, having
those connections, whether it's through the public affairs or the political sections, it's critical that they recruit these people. the biggest -- one of the biggest challenges we have with these exchanges, we're offering a free trip to the united states. just because but they all cannot necessarily accept them because it's really difficult to take one to three weeks off. they are scared to death while they are away there is a terrorist attack. or just the optics of it all. it's just to say it requires a lot of groundwork. so when we have done manchester, boston, l.a., london, birmingham, and the u.k. with denver and aurora in colorado, there is a lot of relationship building that takes place. i think the two-way exchanges are really good for those cities that have really put in a lot of effort. hen like the ivrp is a
conversation -- ivlp is a conversation starter where you want them to build political will. the city pair program, they already have the will and they want to take their efforts to the next level. >> i feel like an anomaly here because i have not worked for state department. i actually work for cloud flair, an internet security firm. we protect about seven million websites from cyberattacks. i was curious how much time you and the mayors are spending talking about the web, particularly three different aspects. some countries there is talk of trying to sensor the internet and block jihadist content. other countries taking a smarter approach looking at those websites and try to understand what's going on and counter their messages. and then probably the most positive response, cities and countries that are trying to build online communities and provide some of the community
that is often lacking in immigrant communities and elsewhere. i'm curious are there cities you have worked with that are doing particularly interesting things in any of those areas? can you point us to them? michael: messaging at this point on the city level i'm not going to say i'm not aware of it, but it's just to say it's not as developed as the national level messaging or private sector counter messaging. for us getting the mayor of anaheim and city of kindness initiative, getting the messaging campaign out, that's something that is acceptable. when you talk about, let's spread kindness. let's have one group from one ethnicity, what one talk to another group, that's palatable for loot of people. when you-all of a sudden start
talking about directly countering terrorist narratives, that's quite challenging. our policy is not to -- if you take down content, then that can reinforce some of the grievances that led people to these groups. i think that that's important we haverecognize the -- to promote free speech. but then also a lot of the social media companies, they have been updating their user agreements. various ve been on the sites and you can access some nasty information by extremist groups. i think that there is a smart way to do it while protecting civil rights and -- to protect free speech. i would say that i think that kind of the next step for the strong cities network, when we
-- as we develop strong relationships with cities, they also have really good relationships with the private sector. i, mike duffin, representative of the u.s. government going to twitter or facebook, they may not be as receptive as a mayor or someone from the community approaching them. it's just to say that it's a challenge, but it's something that we're trying to find the ight approach. >> are any of the mayors you talk to discussing the idea of isis fighters returning from the battlefield? maybe the ones in belgium or france or places like that? or does that the bubble up to your level? michael: it absolutely bubbles p to my level. i'll just say that the one thing
that's a very challenging issue when you have entire families who went to iraq and syria and granted the government can arrest the male and possibly the female and send them to prison for a certain amount of time, the child hasn't necessarily committed a crime, but that to trauma to trauma which should not be left unattended. i think that it's a lot of citi have their hands full with this issue. it's something that will take a long time for them to figure out what to do. i think that's why it's critical that we engage mental health professionals, educators, and others post 9/11 we have had --
if you see something, say something. it's important to teach, educate people about what they are seeing and what to do about it when they see that. what we have been doing is working with other governments on the local and national level to develop programs in the precrime space so that if a young -- let's say an 8-year-old boy in which ever country, the teacher catches him or her watching isis videos, that that's not necessarily a crime, what do you do about that? also the challenge is in several countries they don't have a lot of people who are trained to be mental health professionals and what not. i'll give you one example, bangladesh, a country of about 160 million people, they have ss than 200 people who are
fully certified mental health professionals. how do we partner with them on this issue? that's not to say we're going to ramp up the number of people 5,000 or 10,000, it's more how do we train parents and coaches and all the people i mentioned to deal with these issues. the one area that we have really found a lot of fertile ground with is working with parents. because ultimately you look at the case studies of people who have committed violent acts. what did people around them know? in some cases people -- they knew something was off but they weren't able to connect the dots. -- by engaging parents, teaching them what to o, that's been very helpful.
the number of returning foreign fighters is quite significant. and some cases it impacts some communities disproportionately. it's definitely an issue that's on o the minds of many mayors. but it's just to say that it's going to be a challenge harnessing the number of resource that is are necessary. >> it sounds like this is one of the areas where you are developing best practices or good practices. how do you disseminate them once you identified positive approaches to the mayors involved and to others? michael: one example is the strong cities has an online hub. we don't necessarily expect the mayor to access the website, but it's important that there is one place to go where people can go to look for this information.
a working level person from the city. i will also mention the global -- the gctf, global counterterrorism forum. the united states and other countries have invested in, it's called the lifecycle, radicalization to violence nishtifment if you google it, i know it's a mouthful, if you google it there is a website that keeps -- it constantly is updated with all of the good or best practices. the one thing i'll point out, adam, is that to join or support a terrorist organization like isis, there is all this information on the internet. so you just google isis or some key terms. you find a website or a chatroom. someone will engage you. there are tool kits, how to commit violent acts. the magazine, inspire , or even
like a larger document like the management of savagery which teaches you how to do all this stuff, then you have mentorship. you can connect with people online. but to counter terrorist groups, we do have the information out there, but people don't necessarily know how to access it. they don't have the mentorship. people holding their hands. if you want to start a -- here's a question, if you want to start a c.v.e. program in your city, how do you do that? so i would just say that the cities that i would have in mind to have such programs may not be interested in them or there are some not on my radar that would be very interested. it's just to say that we have to explain what we're doing. the strong cities network is designed to counter all forms of in the bylaws i
it outlines we're not targeting one religion, one ethnic group. i think that that's a major concern. if a mayor of whatever cities says i want to joint the strong cities network, they have a press release, and there are community groups -- they have a right to be concerned, but it's just to say it is important that whenever we have conversations about what we want to do, we walk people through it and explain that we're not trying to deteriorate. e're not trying to target. the first amendment, the establishment clause does not allow us to promote one form of religion over another. i think that's all reflected in ur approach. >> you touched the importance of health care providers, educators, religious leaders play in c.v.e. efforts. how can they be more involved in the future sn
michael: if i could talk about the practical aspect of when we have our events, melbourne, australia, is hosting the next global meeting in may. and then los angeles will likely host it in 2019. it cost as lots of money to to l to australia or even los angeles. and so if the state department or another organization has some funding, we're lucky if we could bring one or two people from the ity. certainly i mentioned the people who we brought to denmark in may . if we had unlimited funding, we could have brought 10 tore 15 mayor because there is a lot of interest in t it's just to say that we need a way -- we need to bring in the private sector to sponsor some of this certainly. some of these activities.
we the state department don't necessarily have to be involved. it doesn't have to necessarily -- if two cities want to connect on this topic, and they don't want to be part of the strong cities network, that's fine. if there is a way for us to facilitate those connections, great. it's just to say that logistically it's difficult to bring everybody on an exchange. with that being said i think that there's a way -- obviously whether it's skype or google hangout or something, we do need to have forums where a larger contingency from a city can connect with international counterparts. i mentioned the western balkans ivlp we did in april. we met with community called clarkston. a suburb of atlanta. they have accepted somewhere around -- if you google them
you'll see a lot of articles around the world about this tiny little community, one square mile. 10,000 people. they have accepted 40,000 refugees over the last four decades. apparently once people -- they spend a year or two and move somewhere nearby. we met with everybody in the community. not all 10,000 people. but we -- on a sunday afternoon we had about 200 people packed in this community center who exchange meet with our visitors. i do think that religious eaders -- there are challenges engaging them. and we have to find ways to work through that. e can't do without them.
east africa on the c.v.e. programs, what is the process to engage in the strong cities network? for instance some of the countries in east africa have had a lot east africa on the c. attack and threats. what is the engagement to engage with some of the cities? through civil society? from the government? would that be done from the bureau itself or i.s.d. or the embassy? it would be good to know more information about the selection process. michael: thank you for the work you do. albany and associates. i have heard a lot of good things about your organization. if you do have an organization in mind that you think should work with the network, i would just say the email -- just go to the website, strong cities etwork dot oorg. -- org. introduce yourself. they'll set up a conference call and figure out what you're
doing, what you want to do. what's realistic. and for us we have done workshops. we do exchanges. besides what i talked about with international dell gigses to the united states -- delegations to the united states, what we want to do, the next iteration of the strong cities international dell netwo want to call them microexchanges, but there are best practices or good practices let's say tanzania, and we want to connect those people with counterparts in kenya. and believe it or not, when i was in southern california in march, there are people who, when i was talking to one municipality, they didn't know what let's say tanzania, and we want to connect next door was doing. that's not the municipality som d.h.s. need to fund because they are literally right next to each other, it's just to say that
finding opportunities for communities to connect and talk bout these issues. and i would just say that the network wants to engage and to connect and find areas of sin energy --synergy for some your initiatives. as i said before, it's not .rying to be the only network the only way that we're going to truly defeat isis, it's by developing beyond just the defeat isis coalition national governments. ways for civil society and others to work with each other. and one of the challenges, though, when we bring people to the united states, the relationship between the mayor and religious leaders -- coy tell you, mayor burke, for example, he meets, i would say
once every three or four months with religious leaders. if he doesn't, they are going to let him know the next time he runs for -- when he tries to get re-elected. in atlanta, every program that they do that nages youth or more targeted at-risk youth, it's funded re-elected. by coca-cola or some organization. in other countries, corporate social responsibility is not necessarily the same as it is here in the united states. i would just say that we definitely need to connect people. work to find ways to by with -- if you're being funded by the united states or another government, how your efforts can complement each other. i would just say the major challenge is coordination takes a lot of time. and certainly we could fill our entire schedules, direries, up with coordination meetings and ultimately -- we'll coordinate,
but there won't be a lot to coordinate because we're not getting anything done. it's a catch-22. >> [inaudible] jack from albany associates also. you were talking about preventive -- preventing violent extremism and mentoring. what's been your luck with groups like life after hate and others like that for building up a partnership and mentoring between domestic radicalization programs like that that do mentor people away from radicalizing and being part of a hate group and partnering that with other, you know, international groups that do the same thing to build a consensus and a mentoring platform? michael: i've worked quite closely with christian, the founder of life after hate. others who i don't think either
of those individuals are currently associated with life after hate but just in general what you're asking about. there are a lot of good practices. we don't have to reinvent the wheel, and so work countering far right white supremacist groups, work to counter gang recruitment, even like suicide prevention, alcoholics anonymous, the boys and girls club, there is a wealth of knowledge we have. you know, with life after hate it's this organization. it's comprised of former skinheads, white supremacists, whatever you want to call them, but, you know, one of the challenges working with formers, as you, you know, as you know, is a former isn't necessarily the best case manager or the best spokesperson for your cause. if they're speaking out against
violence, you know, is there a way we can amplify their message? and the same is true of religious leaders where they'll say violence is bad and, you know, these terrorists have nothing to do with our religion. hate, you want to partner with the u.s. government? they may not want to. it may hurt their cause by, you know, being seen as, you know, being cozy with us. so is there a way that we can provide training or at least point them in the right direction? i think that's why private sector, charitable organizations, it's important -- it's easy for me to stand here and say oh, companies should donate for c.b.e. causes but i think at the end of the day it would be critical and with life after hate it's important we find ways to engage with those organizations . we've sent christian and, you
know, our people, we spent them to speak all around the world. i think there's something about formers when they speak, i'm amazed all of you showed up to hear me speak. it's more like the free lunch. but it's to say, you know, you can have a subject matter expert and you send them overseas and have them speak somewhere and they are not necessarily going to fill the room. but when you have someone with that lling message, definitely will bring a lot of people. when he's spoken, every time christian talks -- and by the way, he's on the panel that we have at the south by southwest festival. people who have stories to share, whether it's them personally or a friend or relative, he always gets requests for people to help -- conduct an intervention. but the challenge with people who have been recruited by isis, it takes a long, long out or them to fully get
of the movement and they may condemn violence but their message isn't necessarily the message that we want to promote. i would also say in terms of the recovery from -- christian -- google him. check out his book. i highly recommend it. but he's someone who after he left the skinhead movement, it took him a good -- rock bottom for him was five years. even then year six and seven were pretty rough. so when you hear him speak, whether it's on "60 minutes" or the megyn kelly show, he's 20 years from the movement. there's no formula to say you have to wait five years and two months, but i just think it's a challenge. i think that we have to really
consider when we're partnering with people, are we engaging too much? i'll mention something else. when there is a terrorist attack, there are heroes and other people who really step forward like victims and others who speak out and if we engage them too much, how does that impact their lives and them stepping into the spotlight? and so i've seen examples and i won't mention names but people who felt like they were compelled to step forward and speak out against terrorism and they were criticized in the media. they've been trolled by certain people on the internet and their businesses have been called what not. it's to say we have to act responsibly when we engage someone and bring them into the spotlight because they may not be ready for that. >> hi.
paul delaney. retired journalist. spent most of my career at "the new york times." you mentioned coca-cola and i was wondering atlanta had a recent election and will have a -- there will be a turnover in the administration. how do you negotiate now with the new administration in atlanta? will that make a difference in your approach? are you concerned? will there be problems? michael: i think what we're trying to do with the strong cities network is we want -- first of all, c.b.e. has to be a nonpartisan issue. terrorism's bad. we have to do something to prevent it, right? that seems simple. -- so mayor tate, he's a republican and mayor
burke is a democrat and so it's important we have bipartisan support. it's important that these programs, these good practices, as i mentioned before, are institutionalized because, you ow, if i take another job or my boss takes another job, we want to make sure the people that replace us are continuing the work and building on it. we don't have to start from square one. that is an absolute challenge. and we have seen that. it's just to say we constantly have to reinforce that this is not the state department, the federal government's network. we support the network but other governments also support the network and we're hoping cities can start funding these exchanges on their own. as i mentioned, if the private
sector can start contributing, if an airline, you know, airlines as you know and hotels are very focused on security, f they wanted to sponsor these exchanges, if city officials, law enforcement, if they know more about ways to prevent attacks, in the end it will cost -- save them a lot of money, so it's just to say we need more people involved in these efforts but we don't need to have the other issues either. engaging educators, for example, we're not all of a sudden expecting either the teacher and educators have a lot on their plates and classroom management is priority number one. t's just to say you need a way to find -- find a way for ucators in montgomery county
nd worde has been doing, w-o-r-d-e, is great. you need a softer approach to talk about these issues that don't ring alarm bells amongst students or parents and i think that's ultimately -- students need to talk about the issues, talk about global issues. but definitely a change in the administration on the local level, that can be a challenge and that's why it's important we engage mayors and that's why we're bringing mayors -- international mayors to the u.s. for this january 24 workshop because we want this to be on the radar. we're hopefully going to establish a strong cities task force through the u.s. conference of mayors because this is an issue unfortunately -- you know, i mentioned back in september i was asked a question about the -- we're
doing an exchange between las vegas, san bernardino and calgary and edmonton in canada and the question i was asked, why vegas? do you have a gambling problem? what's the appeal? and sadly this is an issue that mayor goodman, she expected and attacked. she didn't suspect it would be 64-year-old man but it's just to say they expected a major terrorist attack and they've been trying to do a lot to engage. they don't -- they're not just concerned about isis. they're concerned about sovereign citizens and other groups. >> you said airlines have an interest. have you approached airlines or other travel companies? michael: so not to like give away -- to say oh, we're talking with this person or
that person but we have started conversations with certain companies, organizations. and the one thing we really are going to lean heavily on the mayors and cities for those connections. we don't have the personnel to engage continuously. we're over -- i'm overextended but it's just to say chattanooga, they're hosting an event in october. i think we're calling it like the strong cities network summit of the americas so it's focused on the western hemisphere. so u.s. cities, canada, like the caribbean. and mayor burke and his staff, they're reaching out to several corporations. it's just to say we do need -- we're going to lean heavily on the mayors for those engagements, so hopefully the networks just over -- the
network's just over two years old. when i took over we had about 37 members. now we have about 125. we probably have a good 20 to 30 other cities that are kicking the tires on joining the network. but i think it's something if i could report back to you in a year or two with the progress we made -- and certainly just like us with our foreign assistance, companies aren't necessarily walking around with a checkbook looking to -- there's a long -- a long process for them to determine who they want to donate to. so we have to -- the strong cities network has to figure out the rules and apply. so it's just to say a lot of work remains to be done. >> thank you. thank you for your remarks. miles smith from internews.
we're one of the implementors in this space and what we do is try to amplify the moderate voices so they're not drowned out by the extremist ones that often get so much of the press. since you have a journalist background, i was wondering if it media and information is part of the strategy for the network or if you could comment more broadly on what the office does with media to engage on this subject. michael: i'll try and answer your question. i think part of the -- for us, the global engagement center would be working -- i wouldn't say have the lead but he would have a lot of responsibility in that area. i think part of it we have to have critical thinking and certainly we have all on our social media accounts we clicked on something we thought was legitimate news -- i am not going to say that term.
how do you distinguish between a conspiracy theory and legitimate reporting? if you google strong cities network, you'll find a lot of conspiracy theories. i am not going to delve into it but it's just to say what we tried to do -- our approach has been to not necessarily respond directly to those individuals who are floating or spreading those conspiracy theories but to act with transparency. so you allege that the strong cities network is some conspiracy to, you know, for cities to -- one government to hand over sovereignty to the u.s. -- excuse me, to the u.n. or whatever. it's us trying to tell -- you know -- first of all, we are not trying to tell any cities what to do. they're invited to participate in the network.
if you think that we're up to something nefarious, come to one of our meetings. we don't necessarily advertise the address but if you really want to go, you know, like here, for example, there's nothing secret about us discussing these issues. so it's just to say i think promoting critical thinking and acting -- you know, transparency when possible. obviously, if you're albany associates and working on a sensitive project in east africa you won't necessarily say we have a training here tomorrow. but i think there are ways that we can show that what we're doing, we have nothing to hide, if you will. but finding a way to promote -- i think finland, maybe, has been doing some really good work with promoting critical thinking within schools. you know, definitely with their location in the world.
they have a need to really work on this issue but it's just to say we have a find a way to get some of these efforts into the classroom without it interfering with the curriculum, if you will. > charles, audio-video news. one of the principal strategies of a terrorist organization is to select -- have a target with a high chance of success. let me echo adam's suggestion which you has been made, at least implied by a number of folks around here, maybe having an accessible forum of best practices so you don't have a paradoxical effect of the ecure cities network paradoxically making cities not participating at greater risk. michael: yes, absolutely.
>> all the way in the back. >> good afternoon. george. i assure you it's not the lunch because your talk is quite nourishing. michael: thank you. one wrote a that book called "adults adrift" and i guess you could probably put that synonymous to the fact of youth, unemployment, underemployment, the inability to launch one's life. to what extent has the youth unemployment issue been present at the forum of the strong stinnett works as one of the ot causes for some of this violence? if you were to put in your own words -- you said some of these cities don't necessarily he think they have an extremism issue or that's not why they got into it. do you believe in the one sense
if it ain't broke don't fix it, if you believe in the other sense, then if it ain't broke break it and fix it, what are the indicators that would bring a city to a conclusion that it needed to if he cuss on some of the root causes? is that one of them i guess is my real issue? we've : i would just say some th the examples -- these cities has had a long experience of suffering terrorist attacks. in the u.s., for example, if you look at the three cities that had the most fatalities in the last five years or so, san bernardino, chattanooga, orlando, those aren't the cities you would have thought f post-9/11 that would experience such attacks. so it's really hard to predict.
with radicalization taking place on the internet, you know, a person could get radicalized anywhere and that's going to -- they're not going to necessarily travel a long distance. the areas that they are familiar with are the places where they will possibly have the most success attacking. opposed to them traveling across the country and focusing on some place they're not familiar with. employment poverty in itself is not necessarily a driver to radicalization to violence. people have grievances. they feel i'll give you one example. i was 23 years old and i graduated from northwestern journalism school, one of the top ones in the world. i expected to be at "the new york times." it's not like the next day but
pretty soon thereafter. i am not going to talk about my salary then but it was like oh, i have to live at home with my parents. you know, there was a grievance. that's not to say i was on the path of radicalization to violence but there are a lot of kids around the world who have a lot of potential and when they see that they're not able to get those jobs either because there's scruppings in the government in their national or local -- corruption in the government in their national or local government, either they're not developing the jobs that those individuals could have or those jobs are going to other people who are connected to, you know, that government, that really can fuel the radicalization process. so some people have expected about engineers, for example. why are they more susceptible
to radicalization as opposed to like other people. i don't necessarily i buy into that but to say if you're highly educated and you expect to make $70,000 a year and you're working at applebee's or you're driving a taxi, you're kind of ticked off at the world. when someone comes in and says it's because of -- they implify complex issues and all of a sudden life can be a lot simpler if you just join this group and with conspiracy theories and with extremist organizations they're trying to turn things -- turn gray into black and white. >> with all due respect to "the new york times," had you gone there the next day you probably wouldn't be doing this work now. please join me in thanking our speaker, mike duffin. [applause] >> our next program will be the first monday in february,
>> the house starts its second ession of the 115th session. the official quorum call starts at 6:30 p.m. eastern. you can watch both live on c-span. tomorrow republican leaders will bring up a resolution on the protests in iran. and on thursday re-authorization fisa which expires january 19. that's also the same day that the latest government funding extension expires. the senate returns at 3:00 eastern to debate a judicial nomination. you can follow the house live here on c-span, and the senate live on c-span2. president trump heads to nashville this afternoon to speak at the farm bureau's annual convention where he's expected to promote the tax reform law and its impact on rural america. we'll take you there live at a few minutes past 4:00 eastern time. after that the president heads to atlanta for the college
football championship game. abc news politics reports a number of protests are planned. the naacp is urging people to wear white and hold anti-trump signs. another group says demonstrators will take a knee before the game. >> tonight on "the communicators" we're on location at bell labs in measure ehill, new jersey, for the first of a two-part interview. they provide work in lasers, information theory. bell labs president marcus weldon discusses what's new in communications technology and research. >> the problem we have is we presented you with a ton of data but not necessarily knowledge about -- to think better. so in the next era we will actually connect everything. your environment, you, infrastructure, buildings, bridges, cities so we can actually see what's going on
and automate that. your house will be like the jetssonons. omly clean for you. your car will automatically driven for you. all that changes in how you build networks. finally i think cloud will come of age. the network will become valued again. the devices will be everywhere. on you, in you, your car, infrastructure. so it's a big change coming. we'll see the increase in productivity. >> watch "the communicators" tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> before the house gavels in at 2:00 p.m. eastern we'll take a look at the week ahead in congress. "washington journal" continues. host: as the senate and the house get back to work, we take a look at a busy week ahead in washington with jason dick and alex bolton